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Why We Love It
There are plenty of watches out in the wild that boast of being purpose built tools destined for the wrists of intrepid individuals. These days, such narratives are largely concocted in conference rooms- the efforts of desperate marketers attempting to connect a brand's modern products to the spirit of expedition and adventures of yesteryear.
In the instance of this particular timepiece, no such marketing is needed. This watch is the real deal.
With its rich black dial and gorgeous gilt printing, this Reference 806 Navitimer is a remarkably early example dating from 1955. It features the highly desirable AOPA emblem in gilt foil- signifying that it was sold through the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association. With even patination throughout, the printing on the iconic slide rule and puffy luminous numerous remain highly legible - an uncommon find on early 806's. And the best part? This time capsule Navi is one of the earliest variants, featuring the highly sought after small beaded bezel.
Through its long and storied lifetime, the Navitimer Reference 806 has created a legacy that remains at the core of the Breitling brand to this day. Though new iterations are built every day, finding the real thing- especially one that has not been overly damaged, or worse, poorly restored- is harder than ever.
Having spent the last 60+ years navigating to parts unknown, this recently serviced timepiece is ready for many more journeys, the perfect companion to accompany the adventurous into the wild blue yonder for another 60+ years to come.
The Breitling Reference 806 Navitimer is easily the most iconic model the brand ever produced, and remains near the top of virtually every vintage watch collector's wish list.
Released in 1954, the Navitimer was designed from the ground up to be a function-first tool watch, offering a slide-rule navigation computer function operated by an internally-rotatable bezel. This incredible feature allows pilots to perform essential calculations on their wrist, long before mobile electronics were available.
While the true functionality of the Navitimer is lost on most of us, there is no question that serious pilots (and astronauts) depended on their Navitimers as serious navigation tool. It has been said that the 806 spawned an entirely new category of timepieces - wrist instruments - and it would be hard to deny that.
Stainless steel case is approximately 40mm (excluding the crown). Bretling reference 806. Venus Calibre 178 manually-winding chronograph movement. Circa 1955.
Overall Condition: The case is in excellent condition showing light signs of wear consistent with age and use. Luminous gilt black dial is in excellent condition with crisp printing and even patination throughout. Luminous handset shows matching patination. Signed crown. Caseback shows light tool marks.
Includes leather strap with steel pin buckle.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options